Northern News : September 14th 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 Ranui Ave Charlo t te Kemp Drive Aranga Rd Cannon Drive Kerikeri Rd The Ridge Ranui Ave Ranui GaRdens showhome open mondayto saturday 11am-4pm By visiting our affordable new showhome, situated in Kerikeri's premier Ranui Gardens subdivision, you'll appreciate why more people build with G.J. Gardner Homes than any other builder. This quality finished home is designed to maximise living spaces, optimise living flow and provide genuine value. FaR noRth showhome 51 Ranui Ave, Kerikeri. Phone: (09) 407 3441 0800 42 45 46 www.gjgardner. c o.nz GJ-SH-SOL-FN0811A selection ofhouse &Land options available Food for thought Gardening guru: Robin Craig in his inspirational veggie patch. Nature's bounty: Robin's home-grown goods. By EMMA GODWIN LAND in the Far North is so fertile that, as the saying goes, if you tickle it with a hoe it laughs with a harvest. The garden belonging to Robin Craig of Kaikohe provides bountiful evidence of this with a profusion of heri- tage and exotic crops. Mr Craig has a 150 square metre garden at home and quarter acre plot just out of town. He grows the standard brassicas, spinach, varieties of pumpkins, marrows, kumara, onions and garlic along with capsicums, tom- atoes, pears, apples, strawberries, quince, pawpaw and bananas. He also grows barley and rye, heritage potatoes, five types of corn including the multi-coloured Inca, and red and blue Hopi, seven varieties of dried and green beans, walnuts and sugar cane. Then there are the more exotic plants, the Aztec super food, chia and the Tibetan equivalent goji berries. But wait, there s more. He also keeps chickens and bees. Mr Craig then pickles, preserves, dries and mills his harvest. I ve been gardening all my life, Mr Craig says. It s great therapy. Gardening makes a bad day in the office disappear. And my shopping bills are very modest, it makes econ- omic sense to grow your own. Mr Craig hopes others will be inspired to transform unused gardens or backyards into veggie patches. When I first arrived in Kaikohe in 1962 it was filled with beautiful gardens. There were many communal gar- dens, most were Maori, and they were amazing. Mr Craig says it s sad that people have lost the tradition of gardening especially in this area where the land and cli- mate are so conducive to growing food. It s not difficult to feed a family, Mr Craig says. Plants need soil, water and food. Home compost is easy to make -- all you need is green waste from the house and garden. With the cost of essentials such as bread going up and up, Mr Craig advocates mill- ing your own flour and cereals. My mill cost me $800 but you can get them for less. Families or groups could chip in to buy the equipment and then share them.
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